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Analysis and Comment (15)

Police in Ferguson, Missouri, far beyond your friendly neighborhood patrolmen. Larry W Smith/EPA

Police militarization is a legacy of cold war paranoia

In August, the police who faced protesters in Ferguson, Missouri looked more like soldiers than officers of the peace. Citizens squared off with a camouflage-clad police force armed with tear gas and grenade…
Many guns stolen from rural farm sheds are later used in crimes in the city. Bamcat/Flickr

Theft of guns from farms and urban crime inextricably linked

Revelations of the theft of firearms from Victorian MP Peter Crisp’s farm draws attention to a genuine but often overlooked link between farm crime and criminal events in urban communities. Discussions…
The Wassenaar Arrangement was designed for physical weaponry, so can it be extended to digital tools too? powtac

Cold War to cyber war, here’s how weapon exports are controlled

The Financial Times last week reported the UK government is pushing for new restrictions on software – in particular, on tools that would prevent surveillance by the state. This was the focus of negotiations…
A GB (sarin) filled M55 rocket, is destroyed. US Army Chemical Materials Agency

Chemical weapons and the scientists who make them

It would take a hard-hearted person not to have been moved to tears by the images on our television screens of Syria over the last week - of infants struggling to breathe while their parents looked on…
The grim cost of conflict. Freedom House via Creative Commons

Syria casts its shadow as G8 leaders gather

President Obama’s confirmation that the United States would begin arming Syrian rebels has prompted an urgent debate about both the legality and the effectiveness of the decision. The announcement, ahead…
The approval of the first global arms treaty by the UN may be more a case of misplaced enthusiasm than cause for real celebration. EPA/Inter Services Public Relations

Up in arms: why the UN’s weapons control treaty lacks bite

The United Nations on Tuesday approved the first treaty on the global arms trade which would regulate a business that amounts to over US$70 billion. There were 154 nations in favour, three against and…
The Legged Squad Support System has been designed to accompany war fighters into battle. Boston Dynamics

Meet Boston Dynamics' LS3 – the latest robotic war machine

On first viewing Boston Dynamics' latest creation, the LS3 (Legged Squad Support System), I could not help but be taken back to the AT-AT (All Terrain Armoured Transport) walker, as depicted in the Star…
It might seem like a natural corporate fit, but will politics get in the way of the merger between defence behemoths BAE Systems and EADS? AAP

Arms deals: making sense of the EADS-BAE super merger

It would be the world’s largest aerospace and defence contractor. Bigger than Lockheed Martin. Bigger than Northrop Grumman. And even bigger than the current global No. 1 defence corporation, Boeing. The…
EADS is one of the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers, but has a very low profile. AAP

The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of: EADS

Welcome to “The most powerful companies you’ve never heard of” – an ongoing series from The Conversation that sheds light on big companies with low profiles. Today, Monash University’s Remy Davison examines…